Video: Interview with Yoshiharu Tsukamoto

From Studio Banana TV

Studio Banana TV interviews Japanes architect Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow -

Yoshiharu Tsukamoto was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1965. He studied architecture at 東京工業大学 (Tokyo Institute of Technology), graduating from his undergraduate degree in 1987. Tsukamoto travelled to Paris to be a guest student at L’Ecole d’Architecture de Belleville ( from 1987–88 and in 1994 he completed a Doctor of Engineering program at Tokyo Institute of Technology.

In 2000 Tsukamoto became an Associate Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and in both 2003 and 2007 he was a Kenzo Tange Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at Harvard GSD. Also in 2007 and again in 2008 he was a visiting Associate Professor at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Atelier Bow-Wow is a Tokyo-based modern architecture firm, founded in 1992 by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kajima. The firm is well known for its domestic and cultural architecture and its research exploring the urban conditions of micro, ad hoc architecture.

Pet Architecture is a term Atelier Bow-Wow uses for the buildings that have been squeezed into left over urban spaces. Buildings with curious shapes and inventive solutions for windows, drainage, and air-conditioning often arise in these urban situation. One example of this is the Coffee Saloon Kimoto in Tokyo, a triangular structure with a capacity of four customers.

Most of those buildings are cheaply built, and therefore are not spectacular in design and they use not the forefront of technology. However we are attracted by them. It’s maybe because their presence produces a relaxed atmosphere and make us feel relieved. Pets, companion animals of the people, are usually small, humorous and charming. We find what we call “pet architecture”, architecture having pet like characteristics, existing in the most unexpected places within the Tokyo city limits.

Atelier Bow-Wow documented these micro buildings in detail through photographs, elevations, maps, 3D sketches, and brief descriptions in their publications “Pet Architecture Guide Book” and “Made in Tokyo.”

Images courtesy of Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Atelier Bow-Wow.

Interview by Studio Banana TV.


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